Thursday, March 19, 2015

Easter Bunny Flag (Pottery Barn Knock-off)



A couple of years ago I saw the cutest little bunny flag at Pottery Barn.  Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it was out of stock  so I decided it was something I could easily make.  At least something similar and just as cute. This is the inspiration from PB:


Cute, right?

I set off to make my own and I came up with this:


Cute also.  Super easy too.  A quick stop at Hobby Lobby and I was ready to go.  I already had some burlap and white flannel at home.


I traced a bunny silhouette on the flannel.  I did it freehand but there's bound to be something out there on the internet that will work well.


I stitched the bunny on to the burlap, folded the top of the burlap over to make a pocket for the rod (a dowel and 2 wooden finials), painted to rod black (to give it a wrought iron look) and glued that little bunny tail on to the flannel.


Super quick and easy.  If you don't sew the entire project can be done with hot glue and/or Stitch Witchery.


This makes a cute addition to any Easter decor and even would be cute in a little girl's Easter Basket.

Linking up to Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia.

Friday, March 13, 2015

5 Ways to Take your Table from Everyday to Easter Day...

I love a great table scape. Easter is an especially fun time to make your table extra pretty.  All the pastels make it really fun to put together. Start out with white dinner plates and the sky's the limit.

Here are a few really cute and easy ways to add Easter to your table.

You don't have to go out and buy an entire new set of dinnerware (not a bad idea though, if it's in your budget.)  One or two whimsical little touches will work just fine.  I love this 5 section bunny egg holder from World Market. 


Wouldn't it be cute with dyed eggs in it?  And it's only $6.99.


Be still my heart! I am in love with these little bunny plates from Pottery Barn.  They are perfect right on top of your white plates.


This bunny serving bowl from Williams-Sonoma is just too cute for words.  And there's dinnerware to match.  Perfect!



Add a little fun to your table with these bunny napkin rings from Crate & Barrel.  Wouldn't they be fun with a pastel napkin?


A table runner is a little less formal than a table cloth and this one from Pier 1 is super cute.

So you don't have to spend a fortune outfitting your table for Easter Day, just add something fresh and fun to get everyone in the holiday spirit.


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Easy Salsa Recipe...




We try to eat healthy around here but still like a little snack every now and then.  I love chips and salsa and this homemade salsa is really quick and yummy (and makes me feel better about the chip part of the snack).  This is also a great way to use up excess tomatoes.


Super Easy Salsa Recipe

3 Roma Tomatoes (or any ripe tomatoes you have on hand!), chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
Banana peppers, chopped - to taste
About 2 TBSP of juice from banana pepper jar
Fresh cilantro, chopped -  to taste
Salt to taste

Mix all ingredients together.  Refrigerate for at least and hour.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

20 Sugar-Free Easter Basket Fillers...


I posted this a couple of years ago but it's almost time for the Easter Bunny to make his appearance again so I thought it might be useful to all of you bunny helpers out there. I've made a couple of changes to the post but some of the sugar-free treats are tried and true...

Peeps, chocolate bunnies and Cadbury Creme Eggs.  There has to be more to an Easter Basket than sugar, right?  With the size of baskets these days (that's another post, for another time) non-sugar goodies are a must for Easter.  While I don't want Easter to turn into another Christmas-like gift giving holiday, I am always searching for gift ideas to pass on to the Easter Bunny.  Here are my 20 sugar-free Easter basket ideas for kids of all ages:

For Little Kids (0-8 years or so)

  • Bubbles
  • Playdoh 
  • Coloring Books and Crayons - there are awesome Easter Bunny & Religious coloring books out there this time of year. 
  • Legos - I love the 'Friends' line that is out for girls now.  The usual cars and trucks and airplanes are still out there for the boys.
  • Small Play Characters - like Little People & Polly Pockets.
  • Sidewalk Chalk
  • Gardening tools - kid sized shovels, hoes and rakes in cute patterns start showing up in stores like Target just in time for Easter.
For Bigger Kids (9+)
  • Magazines - Buy the current issue of a favorite magazine and add a note saying that a year's subscription is on its way.
  • Gift Cards - itunes & Amazon are big around here.  Your local bookstore or Barnes & Noble is also fun.
  • Movie Gift cards - Going to the theater is always a fun activity on a rainy Saturday.
  • Sunglasses
  • Journals - There are so many pretty journals on the market these days.  There's still time to order a personalized one from a site like Minted if you want to splurge.
  • Note Cards - Target has some really cute ones for not a lot of money.  Or get personalized notes from somewhere like American Stationery - one of my favorite places to order from - good prices and service.
For Everyone
  • Books - always a good gift - especially to get the little ones in the habit of reading.
  • Puzzles 
  • School supplies - always need them!
  • Paints (watercolors, finger) & paper.
  • Socks - fun & useful.
  • DVD's or a Netflix subscription
  • Beach towels and toys - it will be summer before you know it. 
Filling Easter baskets can get expensive so I check the dollar store for things like coloring books, school supplies, beach toys, sidewalk chalk & bubbles.  We do a little bit of candy - and fill in with these extra little goodies.  And there's always a toothbrush!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Madame Chic...

Madame Chic

I just heard about this book last week when my mom ordered it from Amazon.  I nabbed it first and finished reading it in the car on a recent trip.  It was a fun, quick read and chocked full of useful information.

For me, this book was a chance to stop and think about how I live.  The French way of quality over quantity was stressed more than once.  I've heard so many people say they want to live with a less is more mentality - to get out of the keeping up with the Joneses lifestyle and say 'no' to excess.  This book really helps you figure out how it's done en France.

One of my favorite chapters of the book talks about a ten piece wardrobe.  No more closets stuffed full and 'nothing to wear'.  Apparently it's tres French to buy a limited number of quality pieces of clothing that mix and match with each other as opposed to a bazillion pieces of poor or mediocre quality pieces that may or may not work with your existing wardrobe.  I have always been intrigued with this idea and started to limit my wardrobe this season.  I anticipate taking a few bags of clothes to the Goodwill soon - things I didn't wear this winter because I never put them back in my closet and haven't missed one bit.

But this book is about way more than clothes.  It discusses make up and perfume and pajamas and hair and your home and music and movies and manners and so much more.

I am excited to read Jennifer L. Scott's second book 'At Home with Madame Chic: Becoming a Connoisseur of Daily Life'.  I expect it to be just as magnifique as the first one!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring Cleaning...

Source


It's that time again.  The time when we turn to Spring Cleaning.  I know, some of you still have inches, even feet, of snow on the ground so it's hard to think that Spring is about 2 weeks away.  But it is and Spring Cleaning is a big deal for many people.  It's a chance to get your house and garden spic and span.  Time to open the windows, move furniture, turn mattresses, wash windows and comforters and mattress pads.  Fun stuff, right?  Maybe not, but doesn't it feel good to do that deep yearly cleaning?

I have a weekly schedule - a flexible one, but this is what it looks like on the 'normal' week:

Sunday - Clean the fridge (trash gets picked up on Mondays so I pitch what I need to on Sundays), empty trash cans, clean dog doo (LM does the last two), mop kitchen floor.
Monday - Laundry
Tuesday - Dust, clean bathrooms (2), mop floors
Wednesday - Laundry
Thursday - Change sheets, wash towels,Vacuum, dust
Friday - Laundry
Saturday - Grocery shop, more laundry, if needed

When Spring Cleaning, I add a few deep cleaning tasks to my schedule each day for a couple of weeks:

  • Wipe down fridge-inside and out.
  • Wipe outside of cabinets in kitchen and baths.
  • Move area rugs - vacuum, hang outside.
  • Move furniture - vacuum and mop underneath everything.
  • Wash shower & window curtains.
  • Launder mattress pads, comforters, pillows & shams.
  • Clean out fireplaces.
  • Clean oven.
  • Wash windows (inside and out) and screens.
One of my favorite everyday cleaning resources is Clean Mama. She has so much cleaning and organizing tips.  

Are you ready to start Spring Cleaning?

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February...


2015 is already flying by.  What happened to the days when January was a slow month that eased you into the year?  I sure do miss that...

We are doing a No Spend February again and as you may imagine the family is THRILLED!  You'd think they would be used to it by now.  To us, No Spend February means no unnecessary spending.

  • No new clothes
  • No new home decor ( the folks at Hobby Lobby will miss me)
  • No eating out
  • No new hockey stuff
  • No movies
  • No unnecessary grocery purchases (Oreos anyone?)
It's not as dismal as it all sounds because, truth be told, we need NOTHING (with the exception of basic food and drink).  And we all get an 'allowance' (budgeted) each week which can be spent as one wishes.  And my daughter has gift cards from Christmas and her birthday which she can use.  

We have a hockey tournament out of town this month and that always bothers me because there is definitely some spending that needs to be done even though I bring snacks and a cooler with us. We will eat out on Friday night & will probably buy lunch at the rink during the tournament.  Of course, this is all budgeted for so I still feel like we save a good bit not spending the rest of the month. And our hotel is paid for with Marriott Rewards points which makes me very happy. :)

Anyone else do a 'no spend' month?